Investment in energy storage solutions for renewable energy is predicted to deliver major growth in the near to medium future. But is there a solid basis for this prediction?
Most renewable energy sources, using the sun, wind, biomass or waves, are inherently unpredictable. The key to a reliable supply is to be able to store excess energy for release when production drops.
Ever since the oil crisis of the early ’70s and the resultant interest in renewable energy, the key to widespread adoption of ‘green’ energy has been expected to be the emergence of new battery technology. Batteries back then were too bulky, heavy and inefficient, with high losses during transmission.
Although that very big breakthrough in battery technology hasn’t yet happened, incremental improvements in existing technology, use of new materials and better manufacturing processes have combined to make large-scale storage solutions more effective and cheaper to build. This, coupled with steep demand growth, makes renewable energy storage an attractive investment.
A little over a year ago, the combined electrical capacity of static storage facilities in the UK totalled 24MW. However, a report by Eunomia predicted a rise to 1.6GW by 2020 – a 66-fold increase on the levels of January 2016.
This rise will be driven by the growing number of companies and landowners involved in renewable energy realising that they can now store excess production effectively for later release – energy that can be sold rather than simply leaking away.
This will increase interest in companies developing this energy storage infrastructure: the batteries themselves, control and delivery mechanisms and other supporting technologies.
The more the market grows and matures, the more the sector becomes an inviting target for fixed asset investment. There’s no doubt that the renewable energy sector is moving to the mainstream, rather than an ‘alternative’ high-risk market.
The ability to store excess energy effectively is a key underlying technology supporting all renewable energy projects, regardless of the generation method, so it is a more solid investment than selecting a particular generation method.
If you’re interested the opportunity that renewable energy storage presents and want to get in on the ground floor, why not get in touch now to explore the options available to you?